Warriors engage, help

| September 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

 

Pfc. Morris Soriano (left), Co. B, 52nd Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, helps disassemble an old chicken coop as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, Sept. 2. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan Bruce, Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Pfc. Morris Soriano (left), Co. B, 52nd Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, helps disassemble an old chicken coop as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, Sept. 2. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan Bruce, Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

1st. Lt. Mike Weiner
Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
25th Inf. Division

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii — Soldiers from Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, took a break from a rigorous training cycle, here, to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Sept. 2.

The project was part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, providing assistance to different neighborhoods throughout the Big Island and bringing much-needed care and attention to their homes.

During a break from M4 marksmanship, M320 qualification and a TOW live-fire exercise, 34 Soldiers traveled to a house in the town of Waimea to give back to the local community.

Sayer Houseal, Habitat for Humanity project coordinator, organized the Soldiers into smaller groups, briefed them on safety concerns and provided a tour of the site.

Each group of Soldiers then carved out an area and got to work on the house and its surrounding property, to include exterior trim painting, interior painting, demolition, area beautification and reorganization of the house, front and back yards.

At the outset of the project, Houseal believed work would not be complete until late in the afternoon, but by 10:30 a.m., two dumpsters were almost overflowing. The tasks Houseal expected would take all day to complete took Co. B, 52nd Inf. Soldiers only a matter of hours.

“Years will go by, and the community will remember what you have done here, today,” Houseal said. “We cannot express our gratitude.”

Soldiers were then treated to lunch at the home of another local resident, known to the Soldiers only as “Aunt Malia,” who prepared a buffet-style Hawaiian meal and invited several members of the local community to join her in thanking the unit for its support.

After lunch, Soldiers moved on to their second project of the day, an overgrown yard also in Waimea. The Soldiers set about removing six pallets of cinder blocks, an overgrown avocado tree and approximately 200 overgrown potted plants.

After several hours of cutting, hauling and loading, the yard was clear of all unwanted debris, but not before members of the local community stopped by to lend a hand and express their gratitude.

Houseal told the Soldiers they had chosen a path in which they protect and ensure the freedoms of all U.S. citizens; yet, despite this incredible responsibility, they took the time to show the community that Soldiers have not forgotten where they come from and what is important — supporting the communities that have supported the military so well.

The event was planned and coordinated with the help of PTA range operations and Margo Takata, the local Habitat for Humanity event coordinator.

Erin Stephens, Habitat for Humanity’s community relations coordinator, expressed her profound thanks and mentioned that she had never worked with a more jovial, disciplined group since she began working with Habitat more than two years ago.

“We couldn’t have done it with an average group of volunteers,” she said. “The number of Soldiers you brought, their physical strength and the overall teamwork and efficiency translated into a flawless project.”

(Editor’s note: Weiner is the executive officer for Co. B, 52nd Inf. Regt.)

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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